Today Mason (founder of SuperFeast) talks through ashwag and it's "punch in the mouth flavoursomeness":
So in regards to flavours of herbs and the usage of the herbs, ashwagandha is the one that brings up the most questions. So it is the only Ayurvedic herb that we have invited into, so far that we've invited into our Taoist tonic herbal apothecary, and it is the one that people struggle with flavour-wise. So let's have a look, first of all, at the reason why that is.
First of all, it's an extraction. So most of the time people are going to be used to a raw ashwagandha powder, which isn't actually going to have the flavoursome botanicals and medicinals bioavailable. Second of all, we don't standardise our extraction to get a particular high percentage of active ingredients. We go for a full spectrum, extracting every little bit of Ashwagandha, which makes it pretty potent on its own.
So also remember, I've kind of shared this story before. Before we came out of ashwagandha it was about three years that me and my team in China, we were looking for a source of ashwagandha that was coming from the really beautiful gnarly soil, nice dry environment, small batch farms. Basically just looking for the best ashwagandha that we could.
Then the other thing people sometimes don't realise is we're getting that Ashwagandha back to our facility in China where we get to control that extraction process. So that same rigorous herbalist-driven extraction that we're going through, via understanding the herb, how to get the most out of it, that's the same process that our Ashwagandha is going through. It's not a different place just because it's coming from a different country.
So part of that process is our crew is using a patented, and I know this can be like, ooh, it's patented, we're the only ones, but this is why. It's a patented process that captures the volatile oils that are often lost during that heating process. So when you're making a tea, as well, you're losing those volatile oils and then reintroducing that back in. So in that final powdery extract, you get in that Ashwagandha has those volatile oils, and that's one of the reasons why it's like a punch in the mouth flavoursome.
Now 20% of you really love that flavour and really appreciate it. You love this Ashwagandha. There's another 20% on the other side that are just adverse to it. It's like an actual punch in the mouth, and you find it quite offensive. So we want to talk about how are you going to work it into your diet because I know a lot of you ask because you're enjoying the benefits.
Now, the first thing is this is very strong Ashwagandha, so obviously it's not going to be like the Chaga where you can do a nice big teaspoon. It's not even like the Reishi because a lot of people can get up to a teaspoon of Reishi and really handle that. Ashwagandha, even for me, a quarter teaspoon is all you really need. So don't think that you need to match the dose of a lot of the other herbs in order to get that real medicinal quality.
So that's the first thing. If you're having it in tonics, especially if you're having it in smoothies, compliance is key. So only take the dose up so that that Ashwagandha isn't actually going to overpower the entire fruit, green smoothie, hot chocolate, whatever it is, because that flavour profile, what it is telling your body is what an appropriate dose is anyway. Reishi does that with its bitterness. You can't do a tablespoon a lot of the time of Reishi because it's going to blow the flavour out of your hot chocolate. You can't do it. Same with Ashwagandha. So lower the dose to the point where it's bearable and doable for you.
Key piece when you're using Ashwagandha, add aromatics. Vanillas, cinnamons, cardamom, clove, turmerics, chai, basically, right? That is beautifully going to mask and weave in with that flavour of the Ashwagandha and make it doable if you've taken that first step and lowered the dose to a place that's appropriate for your body and the flavour profile up to that point.
Now, that's the number one recommendation. Start there. If you've still got questions, ask us. If you still can't do it, you don't want to add it to hot chocolates or chais or smoothies or anything like that, shot it, baby. Shots, shots broooo. So what I've done here is I've got a half teaspoon of Ashwagandha, and then I've got a quarter teaspoon of turmeric, and then I've got a quarter teaspoon, a little bit less, of cinnamon, and then I've got a nice little dollop of honey. I've popped that in some warm water. It's dissolved up really nicely.
Now, a little trick back from my bartending days when we'd want to be having multiple shots of tequila. I'm not doing that anymore. Now, I'm putting it to good use with my tonic herbal shots practice. When most people were taking a shot, whether it's herbal or tequila, they get a shot and then breathe in. What you're going to get is all the vapours of the alcohol or the oils of that tonic. You're going to breathe them in, and they're going to hit your receptors real quick, and you're going to get blah.
What you want to do, right, is take a big breath in, maybe wait a little bit, take a shot, and then breathe out. So you're breathing out all those vapours, or in this instance, all those volatile oils. So breathe in, a little bit. That's delicious. I'm not just bunging that on. It's really delicious, really doable, and I haven't breathed in all those volatile oils. So that's just a really effective way to take that shot.
So get on your Ashwagandha, people. If it's sitting there in the back of your cupboard, lower your dose, add lots of aromatic spices to it. If you don't want to do that, just want to work on a bigger dose, get it in a shot with some turmeric, cinnamon, honey, and then take a shot, and then breathe out, and you'll be on your way with ashwag.